BAGELS & SALSA

Lara Reznik

Book Cover

GENRE

ROMANCE COMEDY DRAMA BIOGRAPHICAL

    Core Theme

    LOVE ABOVE ALL

    TIME PERIOD

    1980s & '90s

    COMPARABLE TITLES

    MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING

    CHARACTER LIST

    LAILA. 28. LEAD. SMART, WITTY, CHARMING, LOYAL, HONORABLE.

    EDUARDO QUINTANA. 35. LAILA'S LOVE INTEREST. HANDSOME, CHARMING, LOYAL, PROTECTIVE.

    VIOLET. 35. LAILA'S RIVAL. PRETTY, SEXY, DECADENT, DRUG ADDICTED.

    EVE. 50-60'S. LAILA'S MOM. EXTRAVAGANT, ECCENTRIC, FUN, NARCISSISTIC.

    SYLVIA. 50-60'S. EDUARDO'S MAMA. MOTHERLY, PROTECTIVE, SELFISH, CRUEL.

    DAVE. 40'S. LAILA'S FORMER STUDENT AND MAYA'S KIDNAPPER. SAD, CRIMINAL, OBSESSED WITH LAILA.

    Logline

    SUMMER 1977: As the Son of Sam terrorizes Manhattan, a Jewish sociologist from Long Island takes a romantic gamble and follows a handsome Latino doctor to rural New Mexico where their love is tested by his surly mama, gorgeous ex-girlfriend, a Son of Sam copycat, and cultural differences.

    Target Audiences

    Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

    Target Gender: Female Leaning

    Setting

    New York City, A ranch in New Mexico

    Based on a True Story

    Yes

    Publishing Details

    Status: Yes: self-published

    Publisher: SELF (ENCHANTED INDIE PRESS)

    Year Published: 2018

    Starting Description

    As the Son of Sam and a heat wave plague NYC, Laila Levin, a Jewish sociologist from Long Island, meets Dr. Eduardo Quintana a native New Mexican while giving a speech on the epidemic problem of teenage pregnancies. Within days, their mutual passion is so intense it stuns them both.

    Ending Description

    After surviving culture shock of life in rural New Mexico, blatant rejection from Eduardo's mother, and the return of Eduardo's drop-dead gorgeous girlfriend from a failed career in Hollywood, Laila and Eduardo have a hilarious wedding in Santa Fe where a shocking family secret is revealed

    Group Specific

    Information not completed

    Hard Copy Available

    Yes

    ISBN

    978-1938749384

    Mature Audience Themes

    Information not completed

    Plot - Other Elements

    Happy Ending,Meaningful Message,Twist,Philosophical Questions

    Plot - Premise

    Other

    Main Character Details

    Name: Laila Levin

    Age: 28

    Gender: Female

    Role: Protagonist

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Modest,Charming,Complex,Faithful,Sexy,Funny,Romantic,Sophisticated,Naive,Educated,Honorable,Clumsy

    Additional Character Details

    Name: EDUARDO QUINTANA

    Age: 35

    Gender: Male

    Role: Emotional

    Key Traits: Adventurous,Masculine,Modest,Aggressive,Charming,Complex,Decisive,Blunt,Sexy,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Gracious,Heartthrob,Educated,Heroic,Honorable,Leader,Unapologetic,Seductive,Romantic,Skillful

    Additional Character Details

    Name: VIOLET SANCHEZ

    Age: 35

    Gender: Female

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Aspiring,Adventurous,Aggressive,Sexy,Crazy,Narcisstic,Seductive,Manipulative,Unapologetic,Insecure,Charming,Desperate

    Additional Character Details

    Name: DAVE

    Age: 40

    Gender: Male

    Role: antagonist

    Key Traits: Underdog,Villainous,Clumsy,Crazy,Criminal,Desperate,Uneducated,Secretive,Lone Wolf

    Development Pitch

    Two cultures collide when a Jewish woman from New York falls in love with a Latino doctor from rural New Mexico. Set in the summer of 1977 as the Son of Sam terrorizes New York City, Laila Levin, meets the dashing Dr. Eduardo Quintana while presenting post doctorate research on the epidemic problem of U.S. teenage pregnancies. What begins as a playful flirtation, propels into a more serious relationship. Their mutual passion is so intense, that after a brief courtship, Eduardo invites her to accompany him to his family ranch in New Mexico where he plans to open a practice. The rural town has one of the highest pregnancy rates in North America, perfect for Laila's research. Once in New Mexico, their relationship is tested by Eduardo’s controlling mother who blatantly rejects Laila, his drop dead gorgeous ex-girlfriend who recently returned after a walk on the dark side of Hollywood, and a Son of Sam copycat who has stalked Laila cross-country. The vegetarian Laila experiences culture shock at a matanza, a family gathering where they roast a pig. In the midst of the pandemonium that results, a shocking family secret is revealed and the question becomes can their relationship survive the fierce clash of cultures, the murderous intentions of a Son of Sam copycat, Eduardo’s mother’s rejection, and their own uncertainties about the upheaval that their unison will have on their lives. Bagels & Salsa is loosely based on the author's real life experiences.

    Genre

    COMEDY, ROMANCE, DRAMA, RELIGION

    Brief

    In the 70's, Laila, a jewish sociologist from New York, falls in love with Eduardo, a doctor. As she follows him to his hometown in New Mexico, the couple faces obstacles such as his difficult mama, his gorgeous ex girlfriend as Laila adapts to a different life as they try to make their relationship work.

    Overall Rating

    GOOD

    Point of View

    FIRST PERSON

    Narrative Elements

    Authors Writing Style: EXCELLENT

    Characterization: EXCELLENT

    Commerciality: EXCELLENT

    Franchise Potential: EXCELLENT

    Pace: EXCELLENT

    Premise: GOOD

    Structure: EXCELLENT

    Theme: GOOD

    Accuracy of Book Profile

    The book profile reflects the book accurately.

    Draw of Story

    The main characters, Eduardo and Laila, are charismatic, charming, fun, witty and it all makes up for great couple chemistry. Their moments together are fun and light with the exact right amount of romance.

    Possible Drawbacks

    Nothing made me put the book down, but certainly the dispute between women could have been toned down, enabling a more updated approach to the narrative.

    Use of Special Effects

    THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

    Primary Hook of Story

    Definitely, the hook of the story is the charisma of the couple, both are passionate about each other even though they are completely different. The eccentricity of Eve also makes up for a great side character.

    Fanbase Potential

    It could have a large fanbase as it is a funny and enticing love story.

    Awards Potential

    It could have awards potential as it allows for great characterization - New York and New Mexico in the 70's. Also, characters have well-defined personalities and traits which would require good acting.

    Envisioned Budget

    MEDIUM BUDGET

    Similar Films/TV Series

    MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING

    What’s New About the Story

    This story is original because the two main characters are completely different: one is a jewish sociologist from New York and the other is a doctor from a Mexican family who wants to go back to his small town. Their eccentric families add up to an interesting scenario and their love thrive against all odds.

    Lead Characters

    Laila is a modern, witty, smart woman who's been heartbroken but even feeling vulnerable, decides to take a chance on love when she meets Eduardo. Eduardo is a handsome, fun and responsible man who wants to start a family and falls in love with Laila. He is trustworthy, charming, protective and it's basically the dream guy.

    Uniqueness of Story

    It is a rare gem as the narrative is light and fun, characters are charming and it is an eccentric love story that everyone would love to watch.

    Possible Formats

    Film - Studio, Film - Streaming, TV Series - Network, TV Series - Cable, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series, TV Series - Streaming

    Analyst Recommendation

    RECOMMEND

    Justification

    I recommend it because the story is well written, writer is talented and builds up amazing characters in a greatly structured storyline. The chemistry around the couple is amazingly built and it's palpable in most pages, which keeps the reader hooked and rooting for the couple.

    Brief

    Laila is a jewish sociologist from New York who falls in love with charming doctor from New Mexico. She decides to take a chance on love following him to his hometown but faces several obstacles before they are finally together.

    What We Liked

    This story is delightful because the characters are irresistible and their chemistry is perfect even though they have completely different backgrounds. The wittiness of the protagonists and their openness to love even though both have been hurt before keep the audience hooked and rooting for them.

    Film: It would be a great adaptation for a film because even though there are more serious subjects covered around the storyline, the romance is light and fun, characters are well developed and have higher purposes and at the same time they keep you rooting for them to be together.

    TV: It would be a great adaptation for TV as there is an amazing main storyline but also interesting side characters which develop narratives of their own.

    Key points: Chemistry between main characters; A love story that wins all obstacles; Characters have higher purposes; Two great and different scenarios; Fun and eccentric families.

    Synopsis

    Laila is a jewish sociologist from New York who researches on teenage pregnancies - and even though she is a brilliant researcher, her eccentric mom still dreams that she would one day married. Then, one day, in a talk, she meets charming doctor Eduardo, from New Mexico, who helps her when she is hit by firecracker - and thinks she was shot. As they go out on a date, Laila finds out Eduardo is leaving town - but it doesn't stop them from falling in love.

    Even with her sister facing a troubled divorce with two small children, Laila decides to leave NY and take a chance on love following him to his small hometown in New Mexico, where she could continue her research. She then faces several obstacles which tear them apart, such as his cruel Mama, his ex-girlfriend Violet, the difficulties of moving from NY to a small city and Dave, Laila's stalker, who ends up kidnapping her niece and following her to New Mexico.

    After their life in the rural town doesn't work well, Laila is then forced to find her own path. She continues her research and settles with a couple of friends in Santa Fe, which she helps adopting a baby from one of the girls she met during research.

    She then meets Eduardo again and they finally get the chance they deserved to be together halfway, getting married and living in Santa Fe.

    About The Author

    A native New Yorker, Lara Reznik escaped to New Mexico in the 1970s in a Karmann Ghia that she jump-started cross-country. As an English major at the University of New Mexico, Reznik studied under esteemed authors Rudolfo Anaya and Tony Hillerman. In 2012, Lara published The Girl From Long Guyland, a psychological suspense novel. Reznik's second novel, The M&M Boys, followed in 2016. Bagels & Salsa, evolved from a screenplay Reznik wrote in 2001 that was a finalist in a Writer’s Digest, Austin Heart of Film and Southwest Writers screenwriting contests. The novel won second place in the Texas Writers’ League annual fiction contest in 2017. Reznik has also optioned two screenplays, to Hollywood producers. Currently, Lara lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and two mini-Aussies and is busy writing her fourth novel, Dance of Deception.